Running is The Dogs when it comes to Mindfulness, IMHO
In my day job, I’ve been writing a lot about Mindfulness lately.
Now that we’re all preparing for a second, six-month lockdown – panic-booking Ocado slots, stockpiling the Cushelle before it goes back on the ration – it’s understandable that we’re also after some mental reinforcement to see us sanely through the dark days ahead.
So, having exhausted my usual array of mental sandbags on the first surge, I’ve gone back to Mindfulness after a break of almost three years.
I’ve dusted down the old Guided Meditation CD, sat in the same chair with my eyes closed and assumed the familiar pose, supposedly embodying a sense of strength and curiosity.
I spent 20 minutes noticing my breathing and the noises around me, trying to sit quietly with any troubling thoughts that popped into my head.
And it was all right. In fact, it was much the same as it was when I last gave it up: at least I was doing something to combat stress and getting a bit of restful ‘me’ time’.
But one of the thoughts that did occur to me was: “This isn’t as good as running.”
I’m depressed again, but I don’t need happy pills. I just need to run more.
I’ve been feeling depressed again recently, for the first time in a long while.
I had a knockback at work which – as is my wont – I took quite badly.
And then, there was the end of summer. After the heatwave in mid-August, there were weeks of unseasonal, autumnal storms and heavy rain. I started to sense the short dark days and the long black nights a-coming. And I didn’t like it.
It’s all very well clapping them every Thursday night, but why not thank key workers properly when the Coronavirus storm blows over?
AT THE END of World War One, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George promised to build 500,000 new homes as a reward for the sacrifices ordinary people had made.
Only 200,000 of them were completed, but for many of those lucky enough to move into a new home, it was their first experience of electricity, running water, bathrooms, indoor toilets and gardens.
By 1939, more than a million council houses had been built across the UK, and in 1948 – three years after victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two – the Government again thanked people for their fortitude with the creation of the National Health Service (applause!).
The Coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the greatest challenge to face this country – and the world – since the 1940s, with ordinary people likes nurses, care home workers and bus drivers again at the forefront of the fight.
When all of this has blown over – and we look at ways of saying ‘Thank You’ to our key workers – we could do worse than building them somewhere decent to live again.
I thought I’d never say this – but the Government is being quite cool…
I’M NOT A FAN of the Conservative Party. Never have been. Never will be.
I couldn’t stand Maggie and her ‘No such thing as society’ nonsense.
I hated austerity, and I’d be deliriously happy if we never, ever, ever Got Brexit Done.
The way the Johnson administration has handled the Coronavirus crisis has also been lacking in many ways (although, to be honest, I doubt that I’d do any better if I were leading the nation).
There was the early, misguided, flirtation with herd immunity before social distancing was imposed. There are still big problems with testing, and now there’s the Prime Minister’s distressing failure to heed his own advice about social distancing.
But I’m proud of one thing that the Government has done: at least they’ve tried to treat us all like adults.
Coronavirus is a bad thing – but there are upsides, particularly for quiet types
I KNOW we’re all supposed to be in this together but – on the quiet – I have been indulging in a bit of gloating lately.
That’s because the Coronavirus pandemic – though it’s tragic, frantic, dreadful and economy-wrangling – has temporarily created almost perfect laboratory conditions for introverts like me to thrive.
Just like the shy deer, birds and sea turtles who are reclaiming habitats worldwide in the absence of humans, Lockdown Britain has suddenly gifted withdrawn folk the quiet and solitude we need to thrive.